The global impact of the leaking of 250.000 US government cables (communications between US officials) has been the topic of conversation all over the world for more than a week. But, most of it is confusing, so I thought a game card would be handy.
So who are the players in this interesting global intrigue?
"WikiLeaks is a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices," according to a statement on their site - which at the time of this article was down. It has been up and down a few times over the past week - but that will be explained later.
To conservative hardliners Wikileaks is an enemy combatant. There have even been calls for his and the leakers execution, the Weekly Standard has reported.
Wikileaks' publisher is Australian-born Julian Paul Assange - who is in hiding at the moment for a number of reasons.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - apparently she is a major conversationalist in the cables or her department.
The Jester - seriously that is what he calls himself - the hacker supposedly responsible for the first removal of Wikileaks from the web - but then again an imposter jumped in to make that claim and falsely state his office was raided by the police.
Amazon who originally hosted the site but took it down due to breach of terms and conditions.
Okay, the 250,000 plus cables that were given to Wikileaks - who gave them is still not confirmed - covered many international discussions between the US and foreign leaders. Some of the highlights:
- US spying on its friends and the United Nations.
- Turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in 'client states'
- Government officials lobbying for U.S. corporations
- Detailed conversations covering sensitive issues between American officials and leaders in the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere
- Close ties between the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Iran's point man on Iraq, Brig. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, and Iraq's top government officials.
- Sarcastic remarks of Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton about her referring to India as a "self-declared frontrunner" for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
- Clinton tells U.S. foreign service officers to spy on other diplomats.
- Real doubts within the Chinese leadership about the future of North Korea as a separate entity from South Korea.
- Gulf Arab leaders, almost all of whom expressed support for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
There are obviously many more but that gives a good overview of the scope of the documents and why many government officials are embarrassed. They do not, however, explain why conservatives see the need to designate such sites as foreign terrorist organizations.
The publisher's mother told the press her son fears for his life. And there is a warrant out for his arrest - not for terrorism or actions related to the site - yet - but for rape.
"Assange, the site's founder, has not only denied ever having had "nonconsensual sex" with the two women who have accused him, but has also insinuated that the American government could be behind the accusations, driving a Pentagon smear campaign designed to neutralize Assange and his troublesome organization.," the Atlantic Wire reported September 1. These charges were made months earlier and were dropped, reinstated, dropped and shortly after the recent publishing of the cables, charged again.
The stories about the site getting the cables and the subsequent publishing and sharing with other media who also published the information has been all over the web. Right to do, wrong to do and every other intrigued since makes this the stuff of a movie.
There are other sites like this one and if taken down - hackers got it again - permanently by whoever, such sites will not go away from the web no matter how many laws are implemented.